Look for Me by Lisa Gardner
Penguin Random House: 2/6/18
eBook review copy; 400 pages
D.D. Warren series #9
Look for Me by Lisa Gardner is a highly recommended procedural
featuring Boston's Detective D.D. Warren and victim's advocate/vigilante
D.D. Warren is called to the crime scene where a family is found
murdered and the oldest daughter is missing. Charlie Boyd, Juanita
Baez, and her children, 13-year-old Lola, and
9-year-old Manny, are all dead, shot in their home. Missing is
16-year-old Roxanna Baez and the family's two
elderly dogs. It is unknown if Roxanna was abducted, is missing, or the
perpetrator. Warren and her team have to try and find the missing girl
while unraveling what happened to the family.
Flora Dane, the kidnapped woman who survived over a year of torture and rape, has made a new life for herself helping
other victims (Find Her,
2016). She now runs a support group to help empower other women who
have endured trauma at the hands of a violent criminal. Roxanna had been
in contact with her group before the murders. Now Flora is also looking
for the girl, which puts her into an uneasy alliance with Warren.
As the investigation unfolds information comes out that Juanita wasn't
always the ideal mother and her children had been in the foster care
system for a year while she cleaned up her act. The girls were
eventually reunited with their mother, but they were
changed. Flora suspects that something happened to them when they were
in the system. These suspicions are confirmed in the multiple parts of
Roxanna's school essay titled "The Perfect Family" that interspersed in
the novel. They reveal part of what Roxanna and Lola went through in the
system and at the foster home of Mother Del. These essays add a depth
and intensity to the novel.
Look for Me is a very well written, gripping novel of suspense.
The plot is well-paced, which keeps the investigation moving along
briskly while the tension slowly rises. Like many readers, I appreciate
the research and details that Gardner adds to her novels that provide
additional insight in to the characters and make the subject matter feel
timely. While savvy readers will likely figure out who done it rather
early, that shouldn't lessen the enjoyment of this novel. It certainly
didn't for me.
Although this is part of an ongoing series, you can read Look for Me
as a stand-alone novel as character background is explained along with
the uneasy relationship between D.D. and Flora. They are both
established characters, but there is enough personal information shared
to continue the character development while following the investigation.
I enjoyed the interaction between the two this time and look forward to
seeing them work together in the future.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.